Maybe it’s because I don’t support a “big” club, but I look at SD Eibar and I like what I see. It’s small, part of the community, but still prepared to mix it with the larger clubs and bruise a few egos along the way. Why can’t my team do that? Oh yeah, I remember... they’re crap!
Eibar is in the west of Guipuzcoa, on the border with Vizcaya and 25 miles from Bilbao and San Sebastian. It used to be a major player in the Spanish steel industry and was renowned for the quality of its handguns, but the furnaces & the firearms have long been silent. At its peak in the 1970’s, Eibar had a population of nearly 40,000. Today that figure is nearer 27,000.
|Hemmed-in, but Eibar get the most out of Ipurua|
|Ipurua in the late 1940's|
|1991 and life in the second tier sees Ipurua get a makeover|
|Ipurua's main stand - April 2011|
In 1998, the club received funding from the local council and ‘Liga de Professional Fútbol’ and started a project to completely remodel Ipurua. The original main stand was demolished and a new, full-length covered stand was constructed. This had a capacity of approximately 2,800, which would be over half of remodelled grounds capacity. In 1999, work started on refurbishing the end stands and finally in 2001, the narrow north terrace was roofed and 4 rows of seats were installed. Work was completed with the installation of a new drainage system and pitch.Today, Ipurua is a modern, if somewhat compact stadium and has a fully seated capacity of 5,250.
Between 1988 and 2009, SD Eibar spent all but one season in La Segunda, achieving a high of fourth in 2004-05. They returned to Segunda B in 2009, clocking-up a series of top 3 finishes. Unfortunately, the play-offs proved to be their Achilles Heel, losing in three successive seasons before finally winning promotion back to the second tier in June 2013. Whether this latest visit will prove to be as successful remains to be seen, but given this club's ability to over-achieve, don't be surprised to see them bloody a few noses along the way.
|Ipurua - Pint-sized perfection|